- Our client’s father passed away in early 2020, leaving his property to his youngest daughter.
- After learning that she had not been adequately provided for under the Will, our client contacted Gerard Malouf and Partners.
- We were able to successfully negotiate a significant increase in our client’s provision from $5,000 to $155,000.
Our client’s father passed away in early 2020, leaving his property to his youngest daughter. The property formed the majority of the estate, with the residue of the estate, approximately $15,000, being split between our client and her 2 brothers equally.
After learning that she had not been adequately provided for under the Will, our client contacted Gerard Malouf and Partners, trusted, caring and experienced Will dispute solicitors. Her solicitor, Richele Nelsen, had dealt with many similar matters before. She immediately obtained all relevant information to get the matter moving quickly and efficiently.
Our client had a close relationship with her father growing up. Her parents separated when she was 15 years old and her father remarried and has his fourth child with his new partner. Our client kept in contact with her father, but did not live with him after this time. Over the years, our client continued a close relationship with her father but moved interstate. She commenced full time care for her family members as a result of their disabilities and chronic health conditions and was unable to leave them for long periods. As such, our client could not visit her father as often but maintained regular phone contact.
“Our Will Dispute Solicitors, proficient in Family Provision Applications and the Court’s decision-making process, prepared our client’s detailed affidavit evidence in support of her claim.”
Our client lived in government housing and relied on the Carer’s Pension. With no assets and limited savings, we ensured that we expressed our client’s dire circumstances to the Court, to maximise her Family Provision Claim.
The main beneficiary raised her financial needs in an attempt to bring a competing claim to our client in an attempt to convince the Court she should receive the whole of the estate property, as originally provided in the Will. Shortly after commencing Court proceedings we requested the parties participate in a mediation.
Our client was extremely happy with this result as it provided her with financial security into her future.
Here we were able to successfully negotiate a significant increase in our client’s provision from the estate from a mere $5,000 as originally provided, to a whopping $155,000.
Frequently Asked Qeustions
The first step in disputing a will should be a consultation with solicitors from a law firm that includes family provision claims among its areas of expertise. This conversation will involve a frank analysis of your dispute and its chance of success.
If seasoned lawyers consider your matter valid, then you can declare your intent to claim. This should take place not long after the death or grant of probate (New South Wales permits filings up to 12 months post-death, but the limit is 6 months in). You must clearly argue that you have a pertinent connection to the decedent entitling you to compensation you didn’t initially receive, and explain the “moral obligation” to you this individual should have met.
Successful arguments of these facts will earn you a day in court. Depending on the situation, you may be more likely to resolve this in mediation than before a magistrate; it all depends on how strongly the defendants oppose your claim. You can receive financial compensation in either context if your case is resolved in your favour.
You are entitled to represent yourself (and yourself alone) in all Australian legal matters, criminal or civil. But you cannot represent anyone else; e.g., without a lawyer, you wouldn’t be able to mount a challenge alongside others if all of you were disenfranchised by one particular beneficiary.
Moreover, unless you have significant experience in family law, doing so is a huge mistake. Contesting a will is an extremely complex undertaking, involving intense emotions and high tension, and while an experienced lawyer can manage these matters effectively and objectively, you almost certainly cannot.
Will Dispute Lawyers will also be invaluable in cases challenging the actions of an executor, which can go as high as the Supreme Court.
In NSW, if you are an eligible person and you wish to contest a will, you must do so within 12 months from the date of the testator’s death. In some cases, the court may make an exception if you were unaware of the death of the testator for longer than 12 months.
As an eligible person, you will likely be making a family provision claim. The court will consider many factors when judging whether or not you are eligible to receive an inheritance due to a contested will.
More Case Summaries
If no resolution is met before legal action is taken, an estate dispute will move on to mediation. Here’s how that process works.